Byzantine art has been an underappreciated field, often treated as an adjunct to the arts of the medieval West, if considered at all. In illustrating the richness and diversity of art in the Byzantine world, this handbook will help establish the subject as a distinct field worthy of serious inquiry.
Essays consider Byzantine art as art made in the eastern Mediterranean world, including the Balkans, Russia, the Near East and north Africa, between the years 330 and 1453. Much of this art was made for religious purposes, created to enhance and beautify the Orthodox liturgy and worship space, as well as to serve in a royal or domestic context. Discussions in this volume will consider both aspects of this artistic creation, across a wide swath of geography and a long span of time.
The volume marries older, object-based considerations of themes and monuments which form the backbone of art history, to considerations drawing on many different methodologies-sociology, semiotics, anthropology, archaeology, reception theory, deconstruction theory, and so on-in an up-to-date synthesis of scholarship on Byzantine art and architecture. The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Art and Architecture
is a comprehensive overview of a particularly rich field of study, offering a window into the world of this fascinating and beautiful period of art.